All the Goodness in the World

We are bargain hunters, all of us. We make bargains with God, with reality or the cosmos or karma or whatever. We are convinced someone or something out there is keeping score, and that  our lives are like a bet we are daily making that the things we do are somehow a reliable indicator of the things we […]

Unnatural Order

Every day, it seems, the refugee crisis in Europe worsens. Every day, the headlines that jump out at me when I open my computer in the morning are grim and foreboding. Last week it was capsized boats and trucks on the side of the road. This morning, it’s a train station in Budapest where police […]

An Open Pair of Arms

The headline grabbed me right off the bat: Alberta couple blindsided after adopted girls turn out to have fetal alcohol disorder. The story was heartbreaking in the way that only stories about wounds inflicted from close proximity can be. A couple took on two foster kids but one of them quickly proved to be quite […]

Shared Room

Near the conclusion of his remarks about the final recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission yesterday, Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde offered the following challenge to non-indigenous people: Make room. Make room in minds and hearts for new ways of understanding and relating to indigenous people. Make room for conceptions that go beyond […]

“Is it Okay If I Really Like Life?”

 A few observations and reflections as a summer holiday draws to a close… —— My son is convinced that he has discovered gold in the sand. We are at a beach and he sees little flecks of shiny sediment as he digs and builds on a hot summer afternoon. He tries to imagine ways that […]

Thank You… For Now

The mind of a teenage boy is, I am discovering, a fearful and wonderful thing. Beautiful, strange, unpredictable, irrational, surprisingly generous, unspeakably kind, maddening… All within a few hours, sometimes. Yesterday, I bought my son new strings for his guitars as a few of the old ones had snapped. He came home from a youth event […]

Religious Professionals

I was driving my son to guitar lessons the other day, trying to keep up while he talked a mile a minute. I was only half listening (shameful, I know), but in one of his stories I caught the word “priest.” This isn’t a word he uses often, and my curiosity was piqued. I’m always curious about how […]

One Fine Mess: A Parable of Grace

I know a girl who loves to laugh. She has a smile that can light up a room and a kind and compassionate heart that loves to seek out the sad, the lonely, the forgotten. She is also, like many kids her age, a little forgetful, a bit careless at times. Her head has been […]

“How Do We Know That God is Real and Zombies Aren’t?”

What if we just made God up? The question came not from a despairing parishioner or a reader of my blog or an inquisitive university student at a trendy coffee shop. No, the question came from my twelve-year-old son at a sushi joint last weekend while drumming on the table with his chopsticks in between […]